The Exponential Fruit of Multiplication
Over the next several months we will be telling stories of the extraordinary work of God in normal people's lives. You will also get the chance to know some of our pastors and staff as they share their stories. If you have a story about how God is working in your life that you would like to share, we would love to hear from you and celebrate together.
Stories: Steve Lindenmeyer
It has been wisely said, “You can count the seeds in one apple but it’s impossible to count the apples in one seed.” Why is this true? Because a seed that is planted produces a tree with multiple apples, each of which has multiple seeds, which can then be planted to produce more trees with more apples, etc., etc. This is the exponential fruit of multiplication. The same is true of our lives! Paul explains this in 2 Timothy 2:2 as he urges Timothy to take the Gospel that had been entrusted to him and entrust it to faithful men who would then do the same. The investment of our lives into the lives of others has eternal rewards. We must see the world through the lives of the individuals God places around us. As we plant the seeds of the gospel into the hearts of those around us, and help grow the seed to maturity, we will see remarkable kingdom expansion.
Not Only the Gospel, but Your Life
I was recently reminded of this as I was asked to write an encouraging letter to my friend Al for his 50th birthday. You see, Al was the guy that shared the gospel with me as a freshman in college. He not only clearly explained the gospel, but he challenged me to surrender every area of my life to the Lordship of Christ. He then took personal responsibility to help me grow in my faith and entrust this good news to others. Al didn’t just share the gospel with me, but he shared his whole life as well (1 Thessalonians 2:8). By God’s grace, the seed he planted grew and multiplied. Here is a small excerpt from the letter I sent Al:
Through the seed you planted, the lives of many of my fraternity brothers were changed and the entire fraternity culture was turned upside down. Through you, the lives of several of my family members have been changed as they have come to know Jesus. The latest was my brother Jeff who I prayed for 26 years before he came to faith just a few weeks ago. Because of God’s work of grace in and through you countless lives have been touched. Today, there are hundreds of Thai people worshipping Jesus instead of Buddha. This, in part, is the fruit of your life. The ripple effect of the gospel has gone out from your life in such a way that we will never understand until heaven.
Multiple Generations of Faithfulness
What will be the ripple effect of your life? I believe Al saw the world through the life of one individual at a time. He didn’t know if the seed of the gospel would take root, he was simply faithful to share it. He implicitly understood that his part was faithfulness while God’s part was fruitfulness. Al was not a spiritual superstar. He was a simple, broken, ordinary person that stepped out in faith. He believed that God could take the ordinary and do the extraordinary. He took the command to "go make disciples" literally and he trusted in the promise, power and presence of the Holy Spirit to see it happen. The reality, however, is that it didn’t begin with Al. There were multiple generations of faithful men that preceded him. He was simply a short link in a long chain of God’s faithfulness.
How awesome would it be, at the end of our lives, to have multiple generations of faithful followers of Christ behind us? Paul said that this was one of his greatest joys (3 John 1:4). Prayerfully, the people we love well will in turn love others. The people we invest in will invest in others. The people we disciple will go on to disciple others. And God will get all the glory! Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness (Psalm 115:1).
To learn more about what the Lord is doing through Steve and the Generation LINK reisdency program, visit generationlink.org/charleston